Qatar defends the Asian Cup with a historic victory over Jordan soccer
Qatar successfully defended its Asian Cup title after defeating Jordan 3-1 on Saturday at Lusail Stadium as Akram Afif scored three penalty kicks as the host team secured their second continental title.
Jordan were playing in their first Asian Cup final and bidding for their first major title, but it was Qatar who prevailed in front of 86,492 fans including Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
After Afif opened the scoring in the 22nd minute from a penalty kick, the Jordanian attack pressed but was unable to penetrate it until the second half, when Yazan Al-Naimat scored the equalizer in the 67th minute.
Jordan’s relief was short-lived. Only a few minutes later, Afif scored the second penalty kick and finally settled matters in favor of Qatar when he completed his hat-trick with a third goal from the penalty spot.
Afif, who was thrown into the air by his teammates after the final whistle, was also awarded Player of the Match and Player of the Tournament.
“Scoring penalties is because of the trust placed in my teammates. It’s not about the technique or choosing the angle, it’s the feeling of having my team behind me,” Afif said.
While Hussein Amouta, the Jordanian national team coach, said: We were not focused in the first half and made mistakes. There were easy chances to score but we didn’t. The timing of the two penalty kicks (in the second half) was cruel.
“But I want to congratulate the players. They have gained confidence and opened horizons for the future. Maybe we can win in the upcoming tournaments.”
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